Finding Pleasure in the Simple Things
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore—Psalm 16:11 (ESV).
“If the simple things in life don’t put a smile on your face, then you will never be truly happy.” When I came across this anonymous quote, I realized just how true it is.
Sitting down at my desk, I can glance outside the windows in my home office. One faces south; the other faces west. I have a view of my front and side yard where I can enjoy the different birds visiting my feeders during the changing seasons.
Hummingbirds seek sustenance in the spring and summer while a variety of colorful, as well as those in shades of brown and gray, visit during the rest of the year. No matter their shape, size or color, their antics always bring me pleasure.
Discovering the Simple Pleasures
During the different seasons, I also find pleasure in the changing scenery. Recently, I realized that even the dried brown oak leaves wafting through the air to carpet my lawn put a smile on my face.
Watching the crispy leaves float to the ground, I’m reminded of the hard work facing me. Raking, blowing and mowing is an ongoing chore in the fall and through spring if you have as many oak trees as I do.
Breaking up the monotony of the brown leaves are a few maple trees boasting their reds and golds. Popping with vibrant hues, the contrast between the two is simply breathtaking as the landscape changes before my eyes.
Only God Can Change Our View
How does someone find pleasure in the hard required tending a leaf-covered lawn? After all, I could hire someone to do it for me. I do confess that one of my nice neighbors sometimes helps out when it gets overwhelming and I get behind. With a huge lawn, including an extra lot I own, it’s a chore to get it finished in one day.
However, I don’t own a riding mower. Instead, I prefer the exercise that comes with pushing a mower. It’s also a time when I can ponder God’s Word as well as His work in my life. As I push the mower through the carpet of leaves, I also give thanks I’m still physically able, at almost age 66, to take care of my own lawn. There will come a time when I won’t be strong enough to do what I do now.
Until then, I want to still experience the simple pleasures of hard work. I might occasionally get frustrated while looking back at the expanse of lawn I just mowed, only to see a trail of more leaves falling to the ground. Then, I remember to change my perspective.
Staying Grounded in Scripture Changes Your Perspective
While hard work is not simple, the pleasure found in knowing you’re still able to perform that work can bring a joy that only comes from staying grounded in God’s Word. How is that possible?
Each morning after tending to my dog’s needs, I take my freshly brewed mug of hot tea to my favorite spot in the house. In a corner of my bedroom is a chair and side table where I keep my Bible, a notebook and several devotionals. It’s where my day begins before I tackle anything else, including hard work.
Without reading and meditating on scripture, I just might give into the aches and pains that come with an aging body. I don’t consider myself old—I just tell people I’m a day older—but, I must admit that things don’t come as easily as they used to. Without the encouragement of scripture, I might be tempted to give up.
Giving Up is Not an Option
While giving up is not an option, scripture, like Matthew 11:28 reminds me to rest, certainly after hard work. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Yes, rest brings pleasure after a time of honest hard work. Our bodies may slow down, but we can find comfort in scripture.
One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 46:4. It is a wonderful reminder to keep putting one foot in front of the other. “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (NIV).
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